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October 21, 2014

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Three rowdy nights of Punk Rock Bowling

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Bill Hughes

Singer Damian “Pink Eyes” Abraham.

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Mette Hedin celebrates a spare

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THE SCENE

• How tough were those mosh pits? Let's put it this way: It was tough counting up the black-eyed punks by Sunday.

• We know spitting and throwing things onstage goes hand in hand with punk rock, but what's up with all the wasted beer? Hey, I dig this song, I think I'll ... toss my half-full drink into the air. Woohoo! Now everyone's wet and I'm ... thirsty and headed back to spend more money.

• Best projectile award: the roll of toilet paper fired at Swingin' Utters frontman Johnny "Peebucks" Bonnel. That took planning.

• Y'know who's tougher than punks? Mother Nature. Her hurricane-like wind had 'em running inside Sunset Station for shelter between sets Sunday night.

THE BANDS

• Which one's Chuck? The reunited Hot Water Music sounded great, but we're doubting they were the primary draw for many folks. Gravelly vocalists Chuck Ragan and Chris Wollard sound so similar we polled part of the crowd to see how many folks could tell them apart. Unscientific results: One in five knew. (For the record, Ragan was at stage right.)

• When we first drove past an auxiliary stage set up on the Hooters' patio, we wondered how the sound of loud, raw punk rock might affect casino traffic. Judging from two dudes who wandered by during a set by local hardcore outfit Unfair Fight, it didn't seem to hurt. They climbed a tree to get a closer look and, apparently liking what they saw, swung themselves over the wall to dance along. No word on whether they played keno afterward.

• It's honestly tough to remember what, exactly, NOFX played or sounded like, given how unfocused on music the California quartet were Friday night. Sure, Fat Mike & Co. have always been chatty, but stopping to tell jokes between every single song? And while bringing a 9-year-old to a boozed-up punk-rock festival on his birthday might not be the smartest idea, the kid really didn't need Mike's Twisted Sex 101 lessons. For that matter, neither did we. Seriously, eww.

THE BANTER

• "You know how many times I've been hit in the head? I don't even remember my name, let alone the words to half this [stuff]." —TSOL's Jack Grisham

• "Oh come on, just 'cause your city's prettier — you got a pyramid in the middle of it." —7 Seconds frontman Kevin Seconds, after the Vegas crowed booed his Reno roots

• "If Sum 41 can sell a million records, by God, you sir, can sell a billion." —F***** Up's Damian "Pink Eyes" Abraham, to a random fan

— Originally published in Las Vegas Weekly

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